Proview fails to secure iPad ban

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2012, 12:00am


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A Shanghai court yesterday rejected a Shenzhen electronics firm's request to halt the sale in the city of Apple's tablet computers, pending an appeal by the US computer giant in an infringement lawsuit over the iPad name.

Shanghai Pudong New Area People's court said in a statement that it had suspended proceedings to wait for the result of a separate case filed by Proview Technology in the Guangdong provincial high court.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Proview asked judges to issue an order taking Apple iPads off the shelves in Shanghai stores.

Proview contends that Apple infringed on Proview's 'IPAD' trademark, which was registered in Taiwan, on the mainland and in several other places between 2000 and 2004.

'We can't make any comment on the court ruling,' said Proview lawyer Ma Dongxiao after yesterday's decision was handed down. But he added that 'this is not the final ruling'.

Ma said the company and its lawyers were preparing for the next hearing with the Guangdong high court, but refused to give more details.

The chairman of Proview Technology, Rowell Yang Long-san, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Apple could not be reached after the court statement was released late yesterday.

The victory for Apple in the Shanghai court averted what could have been an embarrassing suspension of iPad sales in Apple's own stores.

Earlier this month, a Huizhou court in Guangdong granted an injunction against a local reseller, and authorities in at least four provinces moved to pull iPads from shelves in response to a Shenzhen judgment in favour of Proview.

Apple has said it bought complete rights to the trademark from Proview's Taiwanese subsidiary, Proview Electronics, in 2009.

But a Shenzhen court in December sided with Proview's argument that the subsidiary did not own rights to the trademark registered on the mainland.

Apple is appealing against that decision to the Guangdong high court - which is the basis for the Pudong court's rejection of Proview's injunction request.

Proview Technology went bankrupt in 2010. Hejun Vanguard Group, its creditor, said last week that the firm was about 3.8 billion yuan (HK$4.68 billion) in debt.